Carob Gift Basket
The Carob Gift Basket brings together products of excellence, made based on a unique, natural, healthy and nutritious raw material, the carob. A guilt-free pleasure.
This Carob Basket brings together products of excellence, made based on a unique, natural, healthy and nutritious raw material, carob. As a substitute for chocolate, which seems to borrow its color and sweetness, carob completes the trio of ingredients most used in Algarve sweets. Carob cookies, butter, honey, tablets represent just some of its applications, and with the carob flour, which you will also receive in this basket, you can produce your own recipes or be inspired by Algarve sweets recipes.
For those who don’t know it, the fruit is a brownish pod, almost black, when it is already ripe, long and slender, between 10 to 30 cm in length. Its tree, the carob tree, is large and sumptuous and its branches can reach down to the ground. It is thought to have been brought by the Greeks from Asia. There are indications that the Romans chewed their dried pods, much appreciated for their sweet taste. Like others, the plant would have been taken by the Arabs to North Africa, Spain and Portugal. As a highly drought resistant species, the carob tree is well adapted to the soil and climate of the Mediterranean region, with an impressive longevity of 2 to 3 centuries. Due to all these ideal conditions, Portugal is one of the three main carob producing countries.
Among the many charms of this fruit is its versatility. From the carob pod everything can be used. The seed is mainly used for the extraction of gum, having various industrial applications, particularly in the food sector as a thickener. But it is also very important in the pharmaceutical industry (used in laxatives, capsules, toothpastes, medicines), and also in the textile, paper and cosmetics industry (the more the creams are hydrating, the more locust bean gum they have, the so-called E410, which absorbs water). But the seed represents only 10% of the pod, everything else is composed of the pulp, which is also very rich in benefits and flavor.
Carob flour is the basis of most carob bean recipes and is obtained by grinding and later roasting the pod pulp. It contains, on average, 48-56% sugar (essentially sucrose, glucose, fructose and mannose), 18% fiber (cellulose and hemicellulose), 0.2-0.6% fat, 4.5% protein and high content of calcium (352 mg/100 g) and phosphorus. In this way, the carob pulp is very well used to make appetizing and tasty culinary preparations, varied sweets such as cookies and cakes, liqueurs, syrup, bread and more and more food products, which are emerging from those who dare to explore this wonderful fruit, giving wings to creativity.
Carob, which is mildly sweet, is a natural additive and as a substitute for chocolate, its use is allowed in all food products. Its benefits are almost infinite, 100% natural, rich in protein, fiber, essential amino acids, good source of vegetable protein, natural coloring, excellent as an immune booster. And so on…
The most curious thing is that in the past this was a fruit of little value, given essentially to animals. But nowadays its value is highly recognized, due to its wonderful characteristics, sweet taste, health benefits and versatility of its applications. And in the future, it is very confidently foreseen that products from this raw material will be increasingly sought after, with the potential to grow many more locust bean markets.
Now that you know much more about this wonderful fruit, you will be able to delight with joy and surprise as you discover the flavors, textures and different applications of carob through the innovative products in this basket. Oh! And to top it all off… this is guilt-free pleasure!